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  • Alisa Lincoln

Beauty Restores (Painting)

Beauty Restores. It's the name of a painting that now hangs in my living room as a reminder of this truth. I painted it during a solo show I did called So Much Goodness, about seeing beauty in the midst of pain. I was right in the middle of my divorce but determined to see goodness regardless of my circumstances. All of the work from that show has layers of writing in each piece. This was not new for me. I had used writing in many prior paintings, but I had never had a body of work with writing in each one. The writing was vulnerable and raw, but hopeful and healing. Instead of writing in a journal (although I did that too), my paintings became my journal, and a way to express my deepest heart and prayers as I worked through the loss of my marriage. They became a living conversation between me and God. I would often ask Him what He wanted to say to me in that moment and I would write what I heard. It was a beautiful exchange, a place of deep trust in the most broken place I had ever known. Here is a snippet of one of those conversations.

Lord, thank you for loving me, seeing me, knowing me, protecting me, comforting me and cheering me on. Papa, what would you like to say to me right now? Alisa, be bold. Be brave. Leap. Enjoy. Trust. Let go, I’ve got you. I see you, sweetie. My grip on you is sure and forever. It’s not loose. It doesn’t falter. It never waivers. It’s secure - always. I’ve got you. I am your way in everything. I am the way maker. Follow me. Leap with me. Rest in me even when you don’t understand...even when you can’t see. I can always see. I am safe. I’ve got you! I’ve got you! I’ve got you, even when you have no idea what you’re doing, even when nothing makes sense. We are together in this. I am in you and you are in me. You are never alone - ever! My strength and my life are in you. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are loved.

These frequent exchanges were like a drink for my soul, and a reminder that although I may not always feel Him, we are never separate.

On the opening night of my show, I shared a little of my journey and encouraged others to think of beauty in the midst of their own pain. We all have it - pain and beauty. I hung a blank canvas on the wall and encouraged those who wanted to participate to write something that honored the beauty in their lives. I gave them colorful markers to express themselves. Many wrote. Some wrote big, some wrote small, but the canvas became filled with the truth that beauty abounds in each of our lives - even in the midst of ugly, painful times. It was powerful! The next day I began the process of painting over the words, honoring them as the foundation of this piece, and inspiring me to paint. I like all of my work, but there are seasons where one piece might speak to me for a while more than another. This piece has had longevity. It continues to be fresh for me over and over again. I’m thankful to have it in my personal collection, and I feel honored that so many added their own beauty as part of its making.


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